PARIS (Feb. 20)
The Palestine Liberation Organization has called on France to play a more active role in Middle East affairs and to submit the Arab-Israeli issue to the United Nations Security Council. The head of the PLO’s political department, Farouk Khadoumi, yesterday pressed French Foreign Minister Jean Francois-Poncet to act in this direction in consultation with its. West European partners.
Khadoumi according to Palestinian sources, said it is of “the utmost urgency” to have the Security Council re–examine the entire Middle East issue and vote a new resolution which “would safeguard the rights of the Palestinian people.”
Khadoumi, who is considered the PLO’s ” foreign minister, ” spent over 75 minutes with Francois Poncet at the Quai d’Orsay. Though French spokesmen said the meeting was “private,” the two men met in official circumstances to discuss official business.
Their meeting took place barely three weeks after Israel’s Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan paid an official visit to France and has thus irked most French Jewish organizations. A spokesman for the PLO fold reporters after the meeting that Francois-Poncet and Khadoumi were in “near-agreement” on most basic issues, and especially on the need for a global settlement in the Middle East to be negotiated with Palestinian active participation.